WASHINGTON (Feb. 19)
The eleven Arab countries that joined in the Yom Kippur War against Israel received $8.952 billion in assistance from the U.S. government and American oil companies in the six years before the conflict, according to Rep. Clarence D. Long (D.Md.). This amount, Long says in statements prepared for presentation to the Congress, is almost two and one half times the estimated $3.7 billion the military and economic aid that the Soviet Union gave the Arab states and more than four times the U.S. government’s credits and gifts totaling $2 billion to Israel in the U.S. fiscal years 1968-73 that ended last June 30.
Long, however, believes that his estimate of Soviet military aid to the Arab countries “is probably low” since he used as a base the annual average of Arab imports from 1968-71 and Soviet arms supplies “increased substantially in 1972 and 1973 as the Arabs prepared for the October 1973 war,” he said. Long, who holds a Princeton doctorate in economics and is a leading member of several Congressional economic committees, compiled the data to support a series of three resolutions he has offered to Congress.
These recommend a Soviet-American conference that would design limits on the flow of arms to the Middle East, deny U.S. government economic assistance to the Soviet Union until it agrees to cooperate for the elimination of international tensions particularly in the Middle East and to curb the system that enables oil companies to pay taxes into the Arab treasuries and then deduct them dollar for dollar from their taxes to the U.S. Treasury.
Long estimated that the oil companies credits for taxes in the six years totaled $5.7 billion. The Congressman called these credits “invisible foreign aid” and charged that “it is probable that the United States encouraged” massive investments by American companies in the Arab oil countries “by helping the Arabs write appropriate tax laws.” (By Joseph Polakoff)